If you have a need for speed, you surely look at your speedometer frequently while you're out on the road. Sure, the thrill of the drive is exhilarating in itself; but, knowing how fast you're actually going definitely amps up the whole experience. The speed meter of your ride helps you reach that feeling of elation when you're going fast by quantifying what you're doing. However, even if you're a speed devil, you surely have your own limits. After all, too much of something can be bad for you. With a busted gauge, you might not know when you've already gone past your own limit. So, if you don't want to be in the dark about your vehicle's speed, you'd better replace that busted speed gauge right away. To help you purchase the right replacement for your busted gauge, here's a quick guide on the things that you need to know about speedometers.
How does a speedometer work?
Speedometers are basically gauges that measure and display a vehicle's instantaneous speed. To understand how one works, you need to understand how a car works first. Of course, it starts from the pistons in the engine going up and down in a cylinder. This motion is then used by the crankshaft to create rotary movement to turn the flywheel. After that, the transmission assembly directs power to the driveshaft and wheels of the vehicle, controlling its speed by determining how fast the wheels would turn. This elaborate process then causes the car to move. The speedometer works by measuring the rotational speed of either the transmission or the wheels with the help of the drive cable.
What are the types of speedometers?
Mechanical gauges are the earliest form of speedometers. They use a drive cable to measure the speed of a moving vehicle. Getting a replacement mechanical gauge can cost you around $50 to $100.
Electric gauges first appeared in 1993, so it's a relatively new technology. Electric speedometers use data coming from a vehicle speed sensor and not a drive cable. Aftermarket electric gauges cost around $100 to $250.
What causes a speedometer to stop working?
Busted drive cable
If you've had your vehicle for years, the drive cable that connects the transmission to the gauge may have snapped, run down, or stopped working.
Crash in speed sensor
If you own a newer car that's equipped with an electric gauge, check the sensor because it may have stopped transmitting speed readings.
Having problems in your vehicle's gears can also cause the gauge to stop working.
If your speed gauge noticeably bounces or jerks all the time and doesn't give you a stable reading, you may want to check the wires connected to it. Usually, this can easily be fixed by changing the wires or by recalibrating the sensor.
Customizations in the car
If you recently bought new tires to upgrade your ride, make sure you calibrate the speedometer according to the settings of your new wheels.